MGCCC taking advantage of ability to use more international soccer players

MGCCC taking advantage of ability to use more international soccer players

PERKINSTON, MS (WLOX) - Unfamiliar accents trickle in the air during Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College's soccer practices and games, but be sure to not misinterpret an English accent for a Scottish accent, and vice versa.

"There is a big difference between an English accent and a Scottish accent," sophomore James Beattie said. "A Scottish accent is so much thicker and harder to understand, and it isn't as well documented as an English accent."

Sixteen of the 25 players on Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College's men's soccer program are from the coast. In past years, it could've been more.

A new rule implemented for the 2016 season has allowed teams like MGCCC to have four out-of-state players on the roster, compared to just one last year. It stipulates that international players are included as those non-Mississippi athletes.

The Bulldogs (13-1-0) have posted 12 straight wins, clinched the top seed in the state and will host the MACJC playoffs beginning October 25.

"It's an interesting mix of guys between the English boys and the Mississippi boys we brought in," head coach Chris Handy said. "They've fit really well together. It's kind of a perfect puzzle and it doesn't always work that way."

MGCCC features England natives Jordan Hall, Aarin Johnson and Liam Eadsforth, as well as Beattie, who is the lone representative from Scotland.

"It was a lot easier to settle in with James, and the guy I came over with, Liam, really made it easy," said Hall. "The Americans really made it feel like home straight away. We've got great chemistry."

Hall leads the Bulldogs with 23 goals, which is good enough for second among NJCAA players at the Division I level.

Beattie is the team leader with 15 assists and is second with nine goals, while Eadsforth is right behind him with eight goals.

"When it comes to soccer, it's more work than play," said sophomore defender and Pass Christian grad Ian Story. "Every day they come out looking to get better and making the team better. It's always serious and there's no playing around."

MGCCC's women's program is 9-3-1 and has won eight of their last 11. The Lady Bulldogs have earned a No. 2 seed in the MACJC playoffs that begin in a little more than a week, and feature one player from Michigan and Tennessee, and two from England.

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